W. Mark Crowell is executive director of U.Va. Innovation and associate vice president for research at the University of Virginia. Crowell's 25-year career in university innovation includes extensive experience in technology licensing, start-up company formation, seed capital development, innovation-based economic development initiatives and planning, and research campus planning.
Crowell joined U.Va. in 2010 after serving as vice president for business development at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Jupiter, Fla., where his responsibilities included innovation management and commercialization, new business development, bio-pharmaceutical industry partnerships and venture capital relations. Prior to joining Scripps in early 2009, Crowell spent 8.5 years as associate vice chancellor for economic development and technology transfer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, after holding similar positions at North Carolina State University (1992–2000) and Duke University (1987–1992). The technology transfer programs he has directed — those at UNC, NC State and Duke — have helped to launch more than 135 start-up companies as well as numerous products and services. In North Carolina, Crowell served on the boards of key economic development and entrepreneurial support agencies, including the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the Orange County Economic Development Commission.
Throughout his career, Crowell has led many public–private collaborations, including co-founding a $10 million seed fund at NC State in partnership with the NC Technology Development Authority. Crowell also had extensive involvement in planning and managing the widely acclaimed Centennial Campus, a more than 1,200-acre research campus at NC State.
In 2013, Crowell received Association of University Technology Managers’ Bayh-Dole Award, “given in recognition of the recipient’s untiring efforts to foster and promote intellectual property activities on behalf of the university and nonprofit community.” He served as president of AUTM in 2005 and as the founding president of the AUTM Foundation. Crowell currently serves as co-chair of BIO’s Technology Transfer Committee and as a member of the board of directors of Southeast BIO. He has extensive national and international speaking, consulting and management experience related to technology transfer and innovation-based economic development and has been instrumental in forging international research and innovation transfer partnerships. His consulting and advisory activities have included a number of U.S. and international academic and policy groups and associations, including the National Science Foundation, the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Academies of Sciences, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and many others. Crowell also served on the inaugural board of the University–Industry Demonstration Partnership, an initiative coordinated through the National Academies of Sciences designed to expand collaborations between universities and industry.